|Mika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|
So, this is the first entrance of Shimogamo Shrine. You may probably think that the shrine will appear right after walking through the gate, but the precinct of this shrine is huge as it is approximately 30 acres, about the same size of three Tokyo Domes. It is surrounded by trees emitting fresh air to its surroundings making visitors feel very relaxed.
Since Shimogamo Shrine is registered as a World Heritage, it is inscribed so on the rock.
Still walking through the forest to the shrine.
We could finally see this flag! (It says “Nagashi bina, the doll festival.)
We arrived at the shine around 10:30am, but it was already crowded. Visitors were talking pictures, walking around the precinct, praying to the shrine and so on.
At the top of the step-like display of beautiful kimono wearing dolls sits the emperor and empress. Below them sit dolls representing handmaidens and even court musicians.
It is right before 11am. Very crowded.
Before the event starts, we went to buy our own “Nagashi bina”. There are two sizes of “Nagashi bina” (￥500 for small doll and ￥1,000 for big doll). If you buy a big size “Nagashi bina”, special Hina Matsuri snack will come along.
These are the “Nagashi bina” doll and the special Hina Matsuri crackers coated by chocolate. I really liked it when I was a child.
So, let’s get in to the event area! (Very crowded!)
If you buy your own “Nagashi bina” in Shimogamo Shrine, you can be close to the Mitarashi River and flow your doll to the river (dolls are sold from around 10 am). It is believed that your children's health will be blessed if you flow this doll as you pray.
The lady is wearing a type of kimono called “Junihitoe” which is an extremely elegant and highly complex traditional kimono.